The 2018 Winter Olympics have been a disaster by all means of measure, and prodigal American snowboarder Shaun White has only added to the controversy this week.
White, known for a while as “They Flying Tomato” on account of his formerly unkempt ginger mop, is one of those athletes who is nigh unstoppable in his snowboarding disciplines. Much like Steph Curry is the NBA’s greatest current three point shooter, White is the king of the halfpipe – the first discipline of the relatively young sport to be incorporated into the Olympic Games all the way back in 1998 during the event in Nagano, Japan.
The fact that snowboarding is even an Olympic sport has irked many within the culture of of the sport, as the move to include the discipline was done hastily, and with regard only for the television advertising revenue that it could generate for the formerly struggling games.
Now, as the sport’s most recognizable face, White has come under increased scrutiny as the world attempts to pigeonhole the wild child as a model citizen – something Shaun certainly is not.
First, there was the embarrassing, drunken incident in Nashville, Tennessee, in which White was arrested for intoxication and the destruction of a hotel telephone – an incident that promoted the childish athlete to assault a bystander who had expressed concern for his behavior.
On top of that, White is still in the midst of a lengthy investigation into inexcusable sexual behavior that included the sharing of pornographic material with female bandmates in which the two hunters copulated on the corpse of a recently slain bear.
Now, to top off all of this horrific behavior, the man-child has been forced to apologize for dragging the American flag on the ground in the wake of his final, gold medal run in Pyeongchang.
“Snowboarder Shaun White apologized Wednesday for dragging a U.S. flag on the snow after his dramatic gold medal victory in the men’s halfpipe, but said he did not know he had let the flag touch the ground.
“’I remember being handed the flag but I was trying to put my gloves on and hold the flag and get board,’ he told reporters afterward. ‘Honestly, if there was anything, I definitely didn’t mean any disrespect.'”
The excuses gets even lamer from there.
“‘The flag that’s flying on my house right now is way up there. So sorry for that,’ White continued. ‘But I’m definitely proud — very proud — to be a part of Team USA and being an American and to be representing for everyone back home.'”
Ah, the old “I do it differently when you’re not looking argument” from 4th grade. Classic.
Shaun White is a great example of where parenting can make a huge difference in our society as well. While the mainstream media gushes over the freckled twerp, there is a teachable moment here for the parents of our nation, to demonstrate to the next generation of possible Olympians that Shaun White is from a different era, and from a disparate mindset, when it comes to patriotic representatives of our great nation.